A Broken Jingle Bell

For the past few years, I have had a very hard time getting into the holiday spirit. This year, I didn’t really at all. The only Christmas songs I listened to were when CJ turned on a Christmas playlist for the kids. I avoided it in the car. I avoided it if I was home alone with the kids. It just feels so broken and disjointed. I feel like the family of the little boy in The Polar Express who can’t hear his bell from Santa’s sleigh ring. I’ve lost the spirit.

I stress over gifts I can’t afford, but feel obligated to buy. I dread the multiple family gatherings. What ever happened to everyone coming to celebrate together? I mean, I could celebrate Christmas any random day in December and my kids would never know the difference because there are still two more Christmases for them to celebrate this season. This is part of the reason it doesn’t really mean anything to me anymore. Christmas is not about gifts. It is about family. And I miss them. I know they always come to celebrate with us, but it’s just not the same when it is a week or two after.

There was one, brief moment on Christmas Day – before church and before I had to go to work – that made me remember that child-like wonder of the season. Q was the first up, was is not normal, so I said I would wake up MJ. I jumped on his bed and said, “Santa was here.” His eyes got real big and he pushed me out of his way to lunge out of bed. His bare little feet slapped against the floor in the hallway until he arrived in the living room. I then watched him drop to his knees in front of the Christmas tree, raise his hands in awe, and whisper “Santa.” It was a beautiful moment and the only time I really felt the spirit. I can’t wait until the girls are a little older and able to enjoy Santa as well. I have hope that their belief will restore mine.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year.

That WAS My Jam

Driving back and forth to pick MJ up from school gives the girls and I a lot of time to listen to the radio. As of late, as most of the radio stations have switched to Christmas music all the time. I haven’t been in the Christmas mood at all this year, so I have been avoiding those stations. That only leaves two stations that come in decently for the whole hour trip. As it tends to go, these stations play the same handful of songs over and OVER.

Since the van has an AUX cable, I decided to bring my iPod along yesterday. Normally, I listen to a specific playlist – like for the soundtrack for the current piece I’m working on. Yesterday, I decided to Shuffle All.

It was like a blast from the past almost. There were songs from high school basketball warm-ups, prom theme songs, and songs my one girlfriend and I used to sing at karaoke. Those karaoke songs made me think of all the fun times we used to have at the campground her mom used to work at. We would mini-golf in the summer and do a terrible job cross-country skiing in the winter. In fact, I’m pretty sure we (or maybe it was just me) broke at least one part of ski boots in the process.

One of things I remember best about these times is when she would call me to say a boy scout troop was at the campground and her mom needed “help.” I would find a way to get myself there and we would gossip and goof around all night and then cook and serve breakfast in the morning. Could her mother have done this herself? Of course. But what teenage girl would have passed up these opportunities? Goodness, I miss that girl.

On a lighter note – yesterday, I had an author interview I gave published. I am really excited about this step in my professional writing career. Read it here!

Until next time.

All the wrapping paper has been thrown away. The last of the gift bags have been folded and stored for next year. As I have been going through everyone’s gifts and finding homes around the house for them, I was able to pay a little closer attention to the charm my parents (well, Mom) had gotten me for my charm bracelet. It is a simple silver heart engraved with the words ‘Best Mom.’

When I first opened it, I didn’t realize it was engraved, so I only thanked them for the charm. I wish I would have noticed the words sooner, because I would have liked to thank her for them as well.

My mother does not hide that in both our child rearing and career paths, my sister and I have differed from what she herself did and what she believes to be best for us. Therefore, this gift really struck a chord with me. You don’t buy this type of gift for someone if you don’t believe it yourself; at least a little. It means so much to me that even though we do/did things differently, she still thinks I am a good mom. Well, I think she’s a good mom, too.  🙂